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6 Tried and Tested Ways to Ace the PSLE Tamil

Every year in Singapore, thousands of children (as well as their parents) have to prepare for Primary School Leaving Examination in Tamil.

The exam paper consists of three parts. Paper 1 and Paper 2 focus on testing the understanding and writing skills of Singaporean children. And the third part of the exam is an oral test.

So, how can children in Singapore prepare for these tests and make sure they score high marks?

In this article, we will discuss components of the PSLE Tamil test and show you how you can prepare for it to score as high as possible.

PSLE Tamil Paper 1

Paper 1 of the test consists of two essay questions. Students do not need to answer both of the questions; they just need to pick one. They are given 50 minutes to complete this paper, and they can score a maximum of 40 points. In addition to the essay, students will need to choose between a sequence of pictures or a hypothetical situation and write a story based on that.

This is called situational writing, and student needs to imagine the entire scene in order to be able to complete the task successfully. This written task accounts for 20% of the total mark in Paper 1.

PSLE Tamil Paper 2

A student is given 1 hour and 45 minutes to finish Paper 2, and they can get a maximum of 90 marks. As for the composition of the paper to it consists of reading passages and corresponding tasks. These are four multiple-choice questions, a section containing open-ended questions and questions that ask the student to fill in the given gap. In total, there are 41 questions given in paper 2, and it accounts for 45% of the total mark in PSLE Tamil.

And last but not least, we have the listening part and the oral exam, which accounts for 35% of the total mark. During the oral exam as students will have to describe a picture and have a conversation.

So, without further ado, here is how you can help your child score better in PSLE Tamil.

  1. How to handle the vocabulary tasks.

It is important to remember that all vocabulary questions are related to the corresponding passage. So when you are given a vocabulary task, the answer you choose will inevitably be connected to the passage, and if your answer is correct, you will be able to confirm it in the passage.

When it comes to the open-ended questions, you can remove all the unnecessary words from the highlighted part to understand the meaning better. In addition, you should not start your answer with a pronoun. Moreover, you should answer with a complete sentence; a single word answer will not do here. And remember that your answer should be as clear as possible, without any ambiguity whatsoever.

  1. Make sure that the word you filled in suits the context.

After you have chosen the word from the list of possible options and placed it in a sentence, read that sentence from the beginning to make sure that the word makes sense in the context.

If you notice that the word doesn’t fit in grammatically, or the meaning of the word doesn’t seem right in the given context, look at other options.

  1. How to score at an oral exam.

The key component of acing your PSLE Tamil oral exam is a well-developed vocabulary. In order to impress the examiners and score high marks, children should have a rather large vocabulary, and they should be able to use words in an appropriate context with confidence.

Also, it is never a good idea to repeat yourself. You’re only given a limited amount of time, and in that time, you have to demonstrate as much knowledge as possible. This is where knowing synonyms comes in handy. If a child repeats the same word, again and again, they are not likely to score as high as somebody who uses different words to express similar meanings. An experienced PSLE tuition teacher can help provide more tips and hands-on guidance to improve your child's vocabulary range.

  1. Scoring in the picture description.

The basic way of handling this task is simply saying what you see in the picture. But unfortunately, simply describing the physical properties of objects and people is not enough to score high marks. The child will also need to speak about the cause and effect relationship represented in the picture.

Also, it is important to show how the cause you are describing is relevant in the given scene. For instance, if the picture shows a person who has slipped and is lying injured in the street, and it is raining.

The student should logically conclude that the person slipped in a puddle caused by the rain. Identifying and describing this probable cause (although the puddle may not be explicitly shown in the picture) will help your child score higher during the oral exam.

  1. How to score in listening comprehension.

During the listening comprehension, the passage is played twice. It is advisable to listen to the passage very attentively at first, and just try to understand what the text is about. Then, when you start listening to the passage for the second time, you can start fulfilling all the necessary tasks. 

  1. Managing time during written tasks.

It is very important to keep an eye on the clock while doing the written tasks. Time flies during the exam, and if you spend too much time planning what to write and hesitating in the beginning, you may need to rush to finish your work in the end, which is definitely not ideal.

Showing a wide range of vocabulary is also important during a written task. The child should avoid repeating the same words and use synonyms where possible. Starting sentences with a pronoun is also a bad idea.

In the end, no matter which exam you are planning to do, practice always helps you hone your skills and do better on the actual exam day.

So if you can get your hands on some mock tests and have the child do them in a predetermined time, it will help them immensely. If you are unsure whether you can manage it yourself, you can hire a qualified Tamil tutor to help you.  

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.


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